Energy Efficiency: Pushing the Building Envelope

Your HVAC system is critical to maintaining a comfortable indoor business environment. To truly optimize comfort and efficiency, however, you have to lean on your building envelope — the walls, windows and exterior doors in your facility. With these measures, you can push your building envelope to a higher level of performance.

Weatherize doors and windows

Gaps around windows and exterior doors can let conditioned air escape, costing your business money and comfort. Inspect windows for cracked caulk or gaps around the edges; replace damaged and missing caulk. Make sure exterior doors seal tightly and replace old or loose weatherstripping.

Fill cracks

Windows and doors are easy to spot, but there are other, less obvious, places where conditioned air can escape outdoors. Check for gaps between the foundation and walls, as well as around plumbing or wiring access to the outside. Seal with caulk or expanding foam.

Check building insulation

Adequate wall and ceiling insulation are critical for optimizing energy efficiency and ensuring comfort. The right level of insulation for your facility depends on facility type, local climate and other factors. Hire a qualified contractor to ensure your building insulation levels meet or exceed those recommended in ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings and add insulation if needed.

Get a better view

Does your facility have older windows? If so, upgrading to newer, high-performance windows can save on energy costs by reducing thermal loss and solar heat gain. Window efficiency is measured by solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and U-Factor (window insulation value).

The National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) certifies window products based on a specific set of performance criteria. Work with a qualified window installer to ensure that your new windows are NFRC-certified.

Have an energy checkup

You’ve tightened up your building envelope. If you’re looking to save even more, consider hiring a qualified professional to perform an energy audit or assessment of your business. Request a free energy assessment for your business with the APS Solutions for Business team.

Your auditor will test for air leaks and evaluate your insulation levels. Assessments are performed by energy consultants and engineering firms. Certification ensures that your service provider is trained and experienced in auditing procedures. See ASHRAE and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) to find certified professionals.